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Researchers at Boston University will study the brain of a former NFL player who fatally shot five people before killing himself, The Associated Press reports.
The York County Coroner’s office reached out to Boston University for the purpose of studying Adams’ brain to investigate if he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), coroner Sabrina Gast said in a statement. CTE is a degenerative brain disease found in athletes linked to repeated head traumas.
Gast said that she received approval from Adams’ family to study the athlete’s brain in concert with his autopsy. The autopsy will take place at the Medical University of South Carolina. The hospital is working with Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center, which studies repeated head traumas in athletes, AP reports. There is no known cure for CTE.
“I can say he’s a good kid. I think the football messed him up,” Alonzo Adams, the father of Phillip Adams, told WCNC-TV.
Phillip Adams shot and killed 70-year-old Dr. Robert Lesslie, his 69-year-old wife Barbara Lesslie, their grandchildren, 9-year-old Adah Lesslie, 5-year-old Noah Lesslie and 38-year-old James Lewis in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He also shot 38-year-old Robert Shook, who is still in critical condition.
Dr. Lesslie had treated Adams in the past, though investigators are still unsure why the former football player shot them.
“While we know there are no answers that will satisfy the question ‘why,’ we are sure of one thing: we do not grieve as those without hope. Our hope is found in the promise of Jesus Christ, and we are enveloped by peace that surpasses all understanding,” Dr. Lesslie’s children said in a statement to CNN.